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2 perish in ambush in troubled North Cotabato town

Mindanao Armed Conflict • 17:00 PM Sat Nov 4, 2023
John Felix Unson
Personnel of the Army’s 90th Infantry Battalion are helping the police maintain law and order in the troubled Pikit town in Cotabato province. (John Unson)

COTABATO CITY - The names of two more men in the hostile Pikit town in Cotabato province got added on Saturday to the long list of victims of the never ending cycle of deadly gun attacks in the area since 2021, almost all awaiting judicial closure.

Montaser Talib and Ellah Pandapatan were on their way to somewhere from Barangay Tinutulan when they were ambushed by gunmen positioned along the road in a secluded area in Barangay Nunguan, killing them both instantly.

Major Arvin John Cambang, chief of the Pikit Municipal Police Station, told reporters at noontime Saturday that the men behind the attack that resulted in the instant death of the duo managed to escape before responding barangay tanods could reach the scene.

He said probers are still trying to identify the culprits with the help of barangay officials.

The incident was preceded by the fatal ambush on Wednesday of a motorist named Ebrahim Pandila Abdullah in Barangay Ladtingan in Pikit by still unidentified men.

Pandila was riding his motorcycle, en route to an interior area in Barangay Ladtingan, when he was repeatedly shot by men positioned along the route, killing him on the spot. His attackers remain at large.

Pikit has been hitting the news since 2021 owing to the continuing unabated deadly gun attacks in different barangays in the municipality, now touted as the "murder capital" of Region 12.

By accounts of officials of the Army’s 90th Infantry Battalion that has personnel assigned in Pikit, local police investigators and members of the multi-sector municipal peace and order council, at least 56 people had been killed since in ambush incidents, in grenade attacks and in a clashes of feuding Moro groups in the municipality.


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